DirectorPeter Yates Initial DVD releaseJune 28, 2005 Duration CountryUnited States
Release dateFebruary 13, 1981 (1981-02-13) CastWilliam Hurt (Daryll Deever), Sigourney Weaver (Tony Sokolow), Christopher Plummer (Joseph), James Woods (Aldo Mercer), Irene Worth (Mrs. Sokolow), Kenneth McMillan (Mr. Deever) Similar moviesMorgan Freeman appears in Eyewitness and Street Smart
TaglineOnly the best murder cases make the six o'clock news.
Eyewitness is a 1981 thriller film produced and directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. It stars William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Plummer and James Woods. The story involves a television news reporter and a janitor who team up to solve a murder.
New York janitor Daryll Deever (Hurt) is an avid fan of television news reporter Toni Sokolow (Weaver). A wealthy man suspected of criminal connections is murdered in Daryll's office building and Toni suspects Deever knows something about it.
She keeps after him for information, a pursuit Daryll allows because he is romantically interested in Toni, and a "cat and mouse" game ensues. This convinces the real killers that Daryll does know vital information about the murder, so he and Toni end up with their lives in danger over this false assumption.
William Hurt as Daryll Deever
Sigourney Weaver as Tony Sokolow
Christopher Plummer as Joseph
James Woods as Aldo
Irene Worth as Mrs. Sokolow
Kenneth McMillan as Mr. Deever
Pamela Reed as Linda
Steven Hill as Lt. Jacobs
Morgan Freeman as Lt. Black
Alice Drummond as Mrs. Eunice Deever
Keone Young as Mr Long's Son
The news equipment and promotional posters actually belonged to the real television station, WNEW-TV in New York, now known as the Fox owned-and-operated TV station WNYW Fox 5. Several station employees cameoed in the film. Sigourney Weaver, whose father Sylvester "Pat" Weaver had been a top network television executive, also worked for the station in order to gain experience. Today, both WNYW and the film are owned by Fox's corporate owner, 21st Century Fox.
Producer-director Peter Yates and screenwriter Steve Tesich had collaborated two years earlier on the film Breaking Away.
Hum To Mohabbat Karega, a 2000 Bollywood thriller-comedy film starring Karishma Kapoor and Bobby Deol was inspired by Eyewitness.
In the concert scene early in the movie, Christopher Plummer's character paraphrases a quote from Beverly Sills - "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."